"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

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After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she disparaged him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb political statements" about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":

Donald Trump wrapped up his public tryout of potential vice presidential candidates in Indiana Tuesday night with Gov. Mike Pence giving the final audition.

The Indiana governor's stock as Trump's possible running mate is believed to be on the rise, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also atop the list. Sources tell NPR the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is close to making a decision, which he's widely expected to announce by Friday.

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The unassuming hero of Jonas Karlsson's clever, Kafkaesque parable is the opposite of a malcontent. Despite scant education, a limited social life, and no prospects for success as it is usually defined, he's that rarity, a most happy fella with an amazing ability to content himself with very little. But one day, returning to his barebones flat from his dead-end, part-time job at a video store, he finds an astronomical bill from an entity called W.R.D. He assumes it's a scam. Actually, it is more sinister-- and it forces him to take a good hard look at his life and values.

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Post-Storm, A Fairy Tale And Reality Check In One

Jun 26, 2012
Originally published on June 26, 2012 6:08 pm

Quvenzhane Wallis, the pint-sized African-American star of the wonderfully inventive film Beasts of the Southern Wild, was plucked from a Louisiana elementary school, and she's a find on many levels.

Six years old when the film was in production, Quvenzhane has a halo of wiry hair and enormous black eyes that flash fear and ferocity in quick succession. She's a mini-warrior in proudly flexed biceps and white rubber boots, and when, late in the film, well-wishers tog her up in a girlie dress and braids, she deflates, though not for long.

As Hushpuppy, a motherless bayou waif living on the edge of multiple disasters, Quvenzhane is an exhilaratingly truculent presence — too young, too poor, too feral and fierce for the trappings of gender. (For a while, I thought she was a boy). Hushpuppy is being raised, haphazardly and with hair-raising bursts of tough love, by her volatile father, Wink (played like a pro by New Orleans baker Dwight Henry), who suffers from an unspecified illness and other impediments to proper parenting. The two live hand to mouth in the Bathtub, a fictional wasteland on the wrong side of the tracks and the levee — a place that is, in every sense, falling off the tip of America.

Beasts of the Southern Wild tells their story and that of the ratty community that rallies around them through a storm that could only be Katrina. The movie, a first feature directed by Benh Zeitlin (who also co-wrote the screenplay with Lucy Alibar, based on her stage play) is a child's-eye view that's transfixing to behold; certainly it's in no need of Hushpuppy's voiceover, over-explaining the horror and the beauty that's plainly visible on the screen.

What passes for home for Hushpuppy and her dad is a falling-apart dwelling primed for destruction by fire or water, or both. After the storm's Gothic intervention, an eerie quiet settles over the waterlogged Bathtub, which soon becomes a blighted wasteland of dead animals and leafless trees, in which crayfish are gobbled live by the survivors and wondrous boats are cobbled together from the flotsam of their already ramshackle lives. The movie, made for a relative pittance by a film collective of young unknowns funded by a nonprofit, was similarly nailed together with a non-pro cast of locals.

There is an exodus in Beasts, but it's not from the Bathtub. Refusing to leave even under mandatory eviction orders, the residents turn away help from various official sources, romantically demonized into the Enemy Other. (Zeitlin will likely take some heat from literalists who feel he has the politics of Katrina upside-down.)

And while it's true that the problem of the stranded have-nots of Louisiana was not that they had too much outside interference, but that when help came it was too little, too late, none of that much bothered audiences who took the movie to their hearts at Sundance and Cannes, where it racked up a total of four major awards and a storm of press attention.

Zeitlin, a transplanted New Yorker and the son of two folklorists, wants us to experience Beasts as a fairy tale in a tradition reaching back to Grimm by way of Maurice Sendak. Tricked out in a palette of rich browns and oranges, the film is a mesmerizing hellhole of magical realism, complete with a pack of wild beasts played by local hogs in headdresses, who may turn out to be friend or foe.

As for the fairies, they're a disheveled rainbow of disenfranchised whites, Cajuns and African-Americans, not a saint among them but all of them ready to step in and furnish Hushpuppy with the resources she needs to go forward with her life.

Beasts can be sentimental in promoting an age-old American ethos of self-help, fashionably grafted together with "it takes a village" mumbo-jumbo. But it is strikingly hardheaded in its perception that the picayune dilemmas hotly debated on the media-mommy blogs are completely beside the point for a whole underclass of kids who must be brought up tough and self-reliant in order to survive. There is kindness to spare in the Bathtub, but no one is going to pat Hushpuppy on the head and tell her "good job." Storm or no storm, when the very ground you stand on is constantly subsiding, you have to come out scrapping, a warrior in white Wellies. (Recommended)

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